NATO yesterday claimed that the U.S. had provided “clear and compelling proof” that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network were linked to the September 11 attacks. In response, the alliance announced that it was ready to fight with the U.S. in an attack on Afghanistan.
But Secretary of State Colin Powell, in an interview with The New York Times, called the evidence only “prettygood information,” and said that it was “not evidence in the form of a court case.” The spokesman for the PakistanForeign Ministry said the U.S. had not provided conclusive proof.
The Taliban announced last night that it is willing to negotiate with Washington about turning over bin Laden, andreiterated its request for proof that bin Laden was involved in the September 11 attacks.
But while all eyes are trained on bin Laden, U.S. and British special forces are already in Afghanistan, and they arenot looking for bin Laden.
Rather, they are, Peter Ford writes, looking for traditional military targets, according to former special forcessoldiers familiar with the sort of operation now under way against suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan.
- Peter Ford, chief European correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor.